The opening of Hastings’ newest basketball court in Flaxmere on Sunday, June 13, was a huge success, with hundreds turning out to play ball and meet their basketball heroes.
“It was fantastic,” said Hastings District councillor and Hastings Ambassador Henare O’Keefe, who emceed the day.
“It was all ages, from five-year-olds to teens and older, all on the court together with huge smiles on their faces. It does your heart good to see the community all in together, heaps of parents around watching and joining in the fun – it was awesome.”
Tall Black Tom Abercrombie, Tall Fern squad member Tayla Dalton, and Hawks/Tall Blacks players Derone Raukawa and Ethan Rusbatch ran drills and competitions, dishing out basketballs and singlets as prizes, to the delight of the crowd.
Tom told the kids he started playing age 8 on a school court just like the new one on Ron Giorgi III Park in Flaxmere, but the hoops were not as flash. “That’s how I developed my love for the game, and this court can do the same for these kids – it’s awesome to see so many kids here.”
The court is part of a new scheme, Hoops in Parks, being trialled in Flaxmere; a collaboration between Hastings District Council, Basketball New Zealand, Basketball Hawke’s Bay, and Sport Hawke’s Bay. It is an extension of Basketball New Zealand’s Hoops in Schools programme.
Council is planning the placement of the second Hoops in Parks court in Flaxmere, on Flaxmere Park. “That will see almost every home in Flaxmere just a 10-minute walk from a basketball court; one at Kimi Ora School, one at Ron Giorgi III, and one at Flaxmere Park,” said Mr O’Keefe.
15 June 2021
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